Dream Dies, but Will Success? Star-Studded Motivation Seminar Tries to Shed Its Failed Predecessor

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Comerford Daily Herald Business Writer

If full-page newspaper ads and direct mail fliers for Peter Lowe's Success 1998 give you a sense of deja vu, it is because its highly touted imitator American Dream 1998 failed earlier this year.

Local investors in American Dream 1998 grafted much of the format of Floridian Peter Lowe's star-studded motivational and spiritual seminars.

But the American Dream's April 23 date at the Rosemont Horizon was canceled as investors cited an investor dispute and low ticket sales.

Peter Lowe, a master's candidate in theological studies at Wheaton College, is bringing his Success 1998 to the United Center on Sept. 23.

Usually certain of his ability to attract a crowd - he averages more than 17,000 a seminar - Lowe faces the added obstacle of people being confused by the demise of American Dream 1998.

"When an airplane crashes, it affects every airplane that flies," Lowe said Friday from his Tampa home. "When an event this similar crashes and burns it creates uncertainty. We have people calling ... and saying didn't you already cancel."

Lowe has been leading seminars for 17 years and in 1990 began Peter Lowe International, a not-for-profit organization that aimed at packing larger sports arenas.

His track record, he said, amounts to brand identification - something he hopes will help overcome the confusion with American Dream.

Success seminars charge a minimum of $50 for an all-day event on a variety of topics, from nutrition and lifestyle to sales techniques and spirituality.

Relying on his track record and a national network that contributes to word-of-mouth ticket sales, he plans to pack the United Center with 20,000 people, but he understands the confusion. …